Walsh's Wonderings — Change of seasons

There are so many things to love about living in Connecticut, but I enjoy the change of seasons most of all. Every three-month period offers an opportunity to erase the fashion mistakes of the previous, not to mention a welcome excuse to clean out a few drawers. Why do “spring cleaning” at all if not to rid ourselves of the vestiges of winter? What would we do with all that space in the basement if we didn’t have the furnace and the oil tank?

My wife has usually spent at least a month reminding me to take in the air conditioners by the time we hit mid-October. I’m forever holding out against an autumnal heat wave that never comes, a period still inexplicably referred to as “Indian Summer.” (Associating this “false season” with Native Americans is no better than Germanic countries calling it “old women’s summer.”) Given the choice, I’d keep them in the windows year-round and learn to live with the draft.

To live in the Northeast is to continually experience a series of firsts: the first time we break out the sweater; the first day we put on the gloves and winter coat; the first time we brave the April air without a windbreaker; the first time we wear shorts for the summer; the first time we throw the remote at the TV because the Giants blew another fourth quarter lead. In other parts of the country, the seasons are more an idea than reality — like fiscal responsibility in government.

I can’t imagine living in an area devoid of these drastic changes in weather. It’d be like listening to the same CD all year while the neighbors are listening to Pandora.

Of course, it’d be nice to avoid all the time wasted pulling out clothes to match the season. After spending a few days sorting through my long-sleeved shirts, I’m forced to drag my wardrobe up from the basement for a rotation. I play the annual game of “I wonder if I washed this before I put it into storage?” as I place them on hangers. My wife always assumes I didn’t, but I always choose to give my five-months-younger self credit for being a forward thinker. What I forget is that this younger version of myself is just as lazy as the current model. Storing my winter clothes downstairs in a bin is really just an excuse to avoid doing laundry at the end of the season. The only good part is all the spare change and loose cough drops I find as I clean out the pockets.

Maybe it’s the vestiges of my elementary school days, but I still think of the seasons as critical milestones that separate the year. Spring is the time to get things done; summer is the time to relax; fall is the time to buy new clothes; winter is the time to put on weight to prepare for the coming Famine. OK, maybe that last one isn’t the best example, but I still get excited every time it snows in the morning even though I’m the one who has to shovel us out.

Enjoy that chill in the air, folks. And while you’re at it, take out the Christmas decorations. That season starts right after Halloween now.

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